Fast Food's Latest Mashup: Burger King's Cheetos Chicken Fingers

By Markets

In this segment from ourMarketFoolery podcast, Mark Reeth and Million Dollar Portfolio's Jason Moser share their feelings on the latest innovation in fast food. Could it win back customers lost to healthier or fresher options, or will it at least capture some mind share among people who no longer think about Whoppers?

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A full transcript follows the video.

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This podcast was recorded on Sept. 14, 2016.

Mark Reeth:Burger King, those innovators, they've done it again. From the people who brought you Mac and Cheetos, and the Whopper Burrito, otherwise known as the Whopperito... [Burger King is owned by Restaurant Brands International (NYSE: QSR).]

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Jason Moser: Didn't the Whopperito fail?

Reeth: Regardless, Jason, they've pushed the boundaries and that's all you can ask from an innovator like Burger King and they've done it again with the Cheetos Chicken Fries. Now, these are chicken sticks, white meat chicken sticks just like you'd get in a Burger King chicken tender, except in fry form, elongated fry form, covered in Cheeto cheese dust, the most synthetic...we're talking about GMOs and all that. You want synthetic foods, you get Cheetos cheese dust on your fingers. It's the new thing. They come out today. Burger King is rolling out the cheese-dusted chicken sticks. They cost $2.89 for a nine-piece order. Jason, are you going to go to your nearest Burger King today and get one of these bad boys?

Moser: No, I'm not even going to cupcake it, man. I wish I could say that I could consider it, but I won't, and I'm not a guy that eats to live, either. I care about what I eat, but I don't worry too terribly much about it, but I just have eliminated fast food like Burger King and McDonald's and stuff like that from my life more or less. I guess if you're on a road trip and you're desperate or something, then that's the exception, but I just don't know. I just don't really like it all that much, so ...

Reeth: I think that's exactly what Burger King is trying to solve, because Burger King, all of the fast-food companies, are feeling that squeeze from folks like you, who have just passed on fast food at this point, or millennials who are looking for something a little bit healthier, maybe. That's why these companies like Burger King are coming out with Mac and Cheetos and Whopperitos or Taco Bell's coming out with a breakfast menu or Jack in the Box has their munchie meals. You don't think of fast food as the place for innovation, but innovation is all these companies have left. It's the only area of growth, so with Burger King, I have to assume they're trying to appeal to people like you and say, "You know, I'm going to try this. It could be funny. I'm going to give it a shot," and maybe rope you in that way. Does it work?

Moser: I don't know. I'm not going to lie. If you stick a bag of Cheetos in front of me, I'm not going away empty-handed.

Reeth: Add some chicken in there...

Moser: I don't even know where a Burger King is around here. Hey, I'm not knocking them for innovation. They got to get out there and do whatever they can to keep interest up and that's what things like this do. These keep the attention out there. It gives us a reason to even talk about it, and if we're talking about it, then ultimately, it's a win no matter what, because gone are the days when they can just sit there and rely on the tradition of the Whopper because there's so many more choices out there today competing for our food dollars, so yeah, I'll be interested to see how long this one lasts.

Reeth: I can't wait. I'm trying it. I'm trying it immediately. I know what my dinner is tonight.

Moser: We're going to have to rendezvous again maybe next Wednesday. It'll be a review with Mark Reeth. You can tell us the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Reeth: I'll be the one moaning on the floor in pain.

Jason Moser has no position in any stocks mentioned. Mark Reeth has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.